Diversity expert: ‘beware of blue prints’

Hundreds of D&I ‘good’ practices are tempting companies to adopt them for their own organisation. This can easily fail and in a foreword to a current special edition on ‘Diversity Management’ by the newspaper DIE WELT, Diversity Guru, Michael Stuber, explains not only why a copy-and-paste approach is bound to flop but also how it can be done better.

D&I programs have become so widespread among leading companies that no one can refrain from replicating existing practices without being challenged. This means, however, that differentiation through D&I is becoming more difficult. Company-specific diversity concepts can be powerful if they consistently address the particularities (business environment, corporate values, etc.) of an organistaion. Robust frameworks recognise that real change is required in the implementation of diversity. Latest studies, as portrayed in the recently published International Business Case Report 3.0 (IBCR 2014), impressively show that tangible, credible and noticeable openness is one of the non-negotiable keys to createing measurable benefits.

Especially for traditional organisations and their executives, the new diversity still poses a challenge. Often, only isolated measures for individual target groups are supported, which are similar across many large corporations, but which nevertheless do not have a far-reaching effect or bring about sustainable improvement.

Promising alternatives to simple copy-and-paste attempts begin with a self-critical examination of the norms, rules and assumptions that have contributed to the success of an organisation in the past, and that must be reflected and adapted in regards to ongoing changes and a new future. The aim must be to develop new leadership models and competencies and a new understanding of collaboration. The vision for this is already foreseeable today: great diversity and strong unity.

The original publication can be found here .